Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ordering Pizza in Taipei

On rainy days when you have had a long weekend, pizza is a must...  Delivery, obviously... but how does one go about ordering pizza in Mandarin?   

I have figured out how to get home in a taxi - I had someone right down the intersections closest to my apartment in Chinese symbols so that when I get in a cab I can show the driver and they can take me home.  However, the idea of ordering a pizza was a daunting task, but I was starving and staring hungrily at the Mary Jane Pizza website was not helping.

When asking people how to say various things in Mandarin over the past few weeks,  I have promptly written it into my notes on my phone phonetically, because the way Mandarin is written in English is just so different.  Just think about the way things sound in English, and basically its the opposite.  An "x" sounds like "sh", "e" sounds like "a", and so  on.  So I wrote down my address like this: "Ba shu ba chong chin lan lu san duan", and called Mary Jane Pizza, crossing my fingers.  

Upon calling, the woman on the other line could not have been more confused by my poor excuse for Mandarin.  I tried repeating a few more times, she asked me to hold on, and I heard talking and laughing on the other end.  Awesome.  I tried a few more times, before getting frustrated and giving the phone to my roommate who easily told her how to get here.  

As you can imagine, Mandarin is worlds away from English in many respects and one of the major things aside from word pronunciation, are the tones.  For example, a word spelled ma, could have five different meanings just by the way you say it.  So obviously me saying this phrase I had written down in a flat English tone did not work.  

And joy to the world Nottingham was here to help me, because my shriveled little excuse for pizza came and it was delicious!  Not like pizza in Chicago by any means, but something familiar and satisfying.  

For delivery, you have to order $500 NT worth of food, so I ordered the Mary Jane - Extra Kind (pesto, mushrooms, tomato, and bacon), A spinach, ricotta cheese, and camerlized onion pizza, and a caesar salad.  All costing 580 NT or $18.13 US.

The Spinach, ricotta, and caramel onion pizza was my favorite.  The Mary Jane was alright - the bacon was a bit soggy, and the salad with its few bits of lettuce and tomato was pathetic, but I could not have been happier to have pizza on such a gray, rainy Sunday. 


  1. We totally take for granted how easy it is to do things at home! And pizza is the best!
    ♡ Lexi
    FASHION: Glitter & Pearls
    WEDDINGS: Glitter Weddings

    1. Its just the best! Hopefully, I will get this talking on the phone in Mandarin thing soon! Apparently thats the hardest part!

  2. Helen, You made me laugh as I read your ordering Pizza. What is not going to be good for me is looking at your realistic food photos and reading your descriptions of such fabulous food. Pounds here they come! I also felt like I was wondering through the allies if Taiwan and losing myself in the complexities of the city.
    I too like to wonder on trips and loose myself but I admit I am more tame in my old age. Yet, reading your blog is stirring up the wonder lust in me and now I just have to convince the judge on another trip.
    Stay well. Love, Melinda

  3. it took my mom about 2.5 hours to write the above commment hahhaaha....GOOD JOB MELINDA!

  4. My favorite is the Mary Jane Pizza Website sayings: "Real Dope,Hand Tossed Italian.
    No Corn, No Ketchup, lotsa love" But what if I want ketchup instead of tomato sauce??
    Love you and miss you Texas gurlllllllllllll.